CHICAGO (CBS) — They wanted a state of emergency declared in Chicago, but instead four aldermen who called for a special city council meeting to discuss that and bringing in the National Guard were shut down. Their concerns were passed on to a committee.
This is not just about items on a meeting agenda. It’s about politics, political relationships and concerns among a growing number of aldermen who say they are being left out of important conversations with the mayor, especially if they don’t agree with her.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Spotty Showers Sunday Night, Monday
“We just want to have a voice. We are not going to be suppressed. We are not going to be silent,” said Ald. Anthony Beale (9th).
That is an example of the mounting aggravation felt by some Chicago aldermen when it comes to having a voice in the city council and dialogue with Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
“The reason for this, I think, is my colleagues’ frustration with not getting enough information up to date,” said Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th).
Hairston and Beale are two of the four aldermen who initially called for the special city council meeting to discuss declaring a state of emergency in Chicago due to ongoing violence and recent looting and bringing in the National Guard to bolster police resources citywide.
“We are here because we have not had a public discussion on what the plan is for the City of Chicago. This is not personal,” said Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th).READ MORE: Storm, Lincoln Park Zoo Harbor Seal, Celebrates 14th Birthday With Special 'Cake'
But aldermen voted 30 to 17 to defer those discussions to the council’s public safety committee — where items frequently go to die — further fueling some aldermanic frustrations.
Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez called out Lightfoot during a meeting.
“No mayor, I’m not finished yet,” he said. “I’m not finished yet. I urge you, mayor, to start having conversations with the city council because there have been at least 40% of the council that doesn’t receive proper hearings and proper briefings.”
Lightfoot, though, disagrees with the suggestion she alienates her critics.
“We try to provide lots of opportunities for aldermen to weigh in on whatever topics of the day,” she said.MORE NEWS: On One-Year Anniversary Of Botched Smokestack Demolition, Little Village Community Leaders Call For Jobs, Better Environmental Protection
Ald. Christopher Taliaferro, the head of the public safety committee, says the issues will be brought up for discussion. He hopes to have them on a committee meeting agenda in the next few weeks but likely not until after Labor Day.